Category: Really Random


Beluga Lentils

Been a while since my last update – think a mix of work pressures, increased social activity and lack of commitment to the cause has prolonged the gap between blog entries. So, where to start:

Gamin’: Xbox has seen me playing Gun. Yes, the game that caused a great deal of swearing on the Gamecube comes to HD, at least in my house. Not a particularly massive challenge, it has to be said but has its moments. Compared with similar sandbox games, it’s kinda crude but its heart is in the right place and is a decent adventure of sorts. A sequel is rumoured to be in the works but I think that’s been doing the rounds for some time. It’s been an Age of Mythology & Civ V fest on the PC, re-working through campaigns on the former, dossing about on the latter.

Socialisin’: Usual board game forays for the most part, playing games old and new. Shadows Over Camelot is a new one introduced by the Streatham Two, I introduced the East London set to Age of Mythology, Zombie Dice and King of Tokyo remain popular. After my recent Brussels foray, I brought back eight types of cheese and we munched our way through most of them. Good cheese.

Travellin’: Yeah, an overnighter in Brussels in the middle of July and five possible trips coming up last week of August/all of September + Dublin again. There’s one trip which like the two in February, might only have a day between them so there’s mileage in taking a day off and staying an extra day. And I shouldn’t be moving house so that won’t be an issue this time (though never say never). No month off this year though, there’s just too much on.

Eatin’: Haven’t yet tried the new Street Food market in Vauxhall (@ Lightbox during the week) but I’ll try and get down there some time. Haven’t been to many restaurants either, to be honest. Quite liking the new Puy Lentil packs found in the supermarkets – nukable as well as the usual cooking methods and taste nice with all sorts of random veg.

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Crackpot

Looks like I shalln’t be going to the Quiz this evening; not on my own. It’s pathetic. I can’t scrape up a single person to come along this evening. Naturally I’ll take the hint and cry in a dark corner somewhere before becoming a 21st century Miss Havisham.

Levity aside (?), this gives me the rare experience of a free Tuesday. Once upon a time, this would have potentially meant a trip down to Streatham but I don’t feel like doing that. Could go home and play Xbox – finish Banjo Kazooie (only Click Clock Wood and the final challenges to go) and maybe get stuck into the Force Unleashed. But again, this doesn’t particularly have significance or at least not tonight. No, I want to go out and _do_ something but there’s nobody to do it with…

Phrasing Straw, phrasing.

Of course, I could apply a little reasoning and logic, pocket the cash I won’t spend tonight and mentally take it off how much I spent at the weekend on my new toy. It’s a nice idea; won’t happen but pleasant thoughts and all that.

Anyway, let’s park random thoughts for now. Nowt to report from last night except that the only place you can find sugar-free juice are the huge supermarkets. Every little store has calorie packed rubbish but try and find the healthier stuff and you’re boned. Ate two salads yesterday, one for lunch and one for dinner. It wasn’t my intention as I brought in a Quorn lasagne to work (3 for 2 in price) but yesterday lunchtime, just didn’t feel like it so headed downstairs. And frankly, the thought doesn’t fill me with excitement today.

As you can tell from the above, I’m having trouble coming up with something meaningful for today’s blog entry. Not that every day has to be definitive in terms of reportage – just look at the third rate columnists in newspapers like Carol Malone, Richard Littlejohn and of course, Bojo. And yeah, I could pass comment on all today’s major news stories but then you’ll be reading professional journos and not this lazy old hack.

Anyone seen the adverts for Sky on Demand where Joanna Lumley waxes lyrical about television on her iPad? I don’t know what the live-action version of airbrushing is called but for a 67 year old woman, she had nairy a wrinkle or a facial flaw in sight. In fact, her skin appeared to be eerily white and glowing, as if she had come fresh from a nuclear power plant. Who the hell are they trying to kid?

Dear EE – if as your advertising and other associated promotional materials claim you are the biggest network in the UK, wouldn’t it be an idea for you to hire more staff so that your customers can get a phone call answered within thirty minutes, especially at peak times? And please remember that phones tend to auto disconnect after an hour so when queuing to get your call answered, a little speed is appreciated.

Dear Waterstones – sell more board games.

Dear Woolworths – come back, these pound stores are just terrible. Except for sweets though they can’t beat you for pick n mix.

Dear Supermarkets across Britain – re self service tills: can you please organise into two lines. One for morons and one for people who know how to use the service properly. That way you’re not stuck behind people who despite having seen checkout staff operate machinery hundreds of times, still have trouble passing a barcode over a scanner.

Dear Computer Hackers – stop making viruses. Virus scanners slow our PCs down far too much and interfere with legitimate processes. Thank-you.

Dear Secret Escapes – if I see one more advert with that irritating woman whispering to the camera, I shall behave like Tamerlane Khan and build a pyramid of skulls from your employees. It does NOT make me or anyone I know want to browse your website or buy any of your products.

Dear Coca-Cola – stop putting sugar into your products. That way, people won’t be quite so fat. Dear Pepsi, please do the same.

Dear America – please tell us who shot JFK, we can’t wait for the files to be declassified.

I’m turning into Grandpa Simpson…

I started a recollection of the weekend’s events but then half way through, I got bored and deleted all five-hundred words. So instead, I’m ripping off someone’s creative efforts in order to give this a wider audience:

What if WW2 was played out like an RTS game?

*Hitler[AoE] has joined the game.*
*Eisenhower has joined the game.*
*paTTon has joined the game.*
*Churchill has joined the game.*
*benny-tow has joined the game.*
*T0J0 has joined the game.*
*Roosevelt has joined the game.*
*Stalin has joined the game.*
*deGaulle has joined the game.*
Roosevelt: hey sup
T0J0: y0
Stalin: hi
Churchill: hi
Hitler[AoE]: cool, i start with panzer tanks!
paTTon: lol more like panzy tanks
T0JO: lol
Roosevelt: o this fockin sucks i got a depression!
benny-tow: haha america sux
Stalin: hey hitler you dont fight me i dont fight u, cool?
Hitler[AoE]; sure whatever
Stalin: cool
deGaulle: **** Hitler rushed some1 help
Hitler[AoE]: lol byebye frenchy
Roosevelt: i dont got **** to help, sry
Churchill: wtf the luftwaffe is attacking me
Roosevelt: get antiair guns
Churchill: i cant afford them
benny-tow: u n00bs know what team talk is?
paTTon: stfu
Roosevelt: o yah hit the navajo button guys
deGaulle: eisenhower ur worthless come help me quick
Eisenhower: i cant do **** til Roosevelt gives me an army
paTTon: yah hurry the fock up
Churchill: d00d im gettin pounded
deGaulle: this is fockin weak u guys suck
*deGaulle has left the game.*
Roosevelt: im gonna attack the axis k?
benny-tow: with what? ur wheelchair?
benny-tow: lol did u mess up ur legs AND ur head?
Hitler[AoE]: ROFLMAO
T0J0: lol o no america im comin 4 u
Roosevelt: wtf! thats bullsh1t u fags im gunna kick ur asses
T0JO: not without ur harbors u wont! lol
Roosevelt: u little bitch ill get u
Hitler[AoE]: wtf
Hitler[AoE]: america hax, u had depression and now u got a huge fockin army
Hitler[AoE]: thats bullsh1t u hacker
Churchill: lol no more france for u hitler
Hitler[AoE]: tojo help me!
T0J0: wtf u want me to do, im on the other side of the world retard
Hitler[AoE]: fine ill clear you a path
Stalin: WTF u arsshoel! WE HAD A FoCKIN TRUCE
Hitler[AoE]: i changed my mind lol
benny-tow: haha
benny-tow: hey ur losing ur guys in africa im gonna need help in italy soon sum1
T0J0: o **** i cant help u i got my hands full
Hitler[AoE]: im 2 busy 2 help
Roosevelt: yah thats right ***** im comin for ya
Stalin: church help me
Churchill: like u helped me before? sure ill just sit here
Stalin: dont be an arse
Churchill: dont be a commie. oops too late
Eisenhower: LOL
benny-tow: hahahh oh sh1t help
Hitler: o man ur focked
paTTon: oh what now biotch
Roosevelt: whos the cripple now lol
*benny-tow has been eliminated.*
benny-tow: lame
Roosevelt: gj patton
paTTon: thnx
Hitler[AoE]: WTF eisenhower hax hes killing all my sh1t
Hitler[AoE]: quit u hacker so u dont ruin my record
Eisenhower: Nuts!
benny~tow: wtf that mean?
Eisenhower: meant to say nutsack lol finger slipped
paTTon: coming to get u hitler u paper hanging hun cocksocker
Stalin: rofl
T0J0: HAHAHHAA
Hitler[AoE]: u guys are fockin gay
Hitler[AoE]: ur never getting in my city
*Hitler[AoE] has been eliminated.*
benny~tow: OMG u noob you killed yourself
Eisenhower: ROFLOLOLOL
Stalin: OMG LMAO!
Hitler[AoE]: WTF i didnt click there omg this game blows
*Hitler[AoE] has left the game*
paTTon: hahahhah
T0J0: WTF my teammates are n00bs
benny~tow: shut up noob
Roosevelt: haha wut a moron
paTTon: wtf am i gunna do now?
Eisenhower: yah me too
T0J0: why dont u attack me o thats right u dont got no ships lololol
Eisenhower: fock u
paTTon: lemme go thru ur base commie
Stalin: go to hell lol
paTTon: fock this sh1t im goin afk
Eisenhower: yah this is gay
*Roosevelt has left the game.*
Hitler[AoE]: wtf?
Eisenhower: sh1t now we need some1 to join
*tru_m4n has joined the game.*
tru_m4n: hi all
T0J0: hey
Stalin: sup
Churchill: hi
tru_m4n: OMG OMG OMG i got all his stuff!
tru_m4n: NUKES! HOLY **** I GOT NUKES
Stalin: d00d gimmie some plz
tru_m4n: no way i only got like a couple
Stalin: omg dont be gay gimmie nuclear secrets
T0J0: wtf is nukes?
T0J0: holy ****holy****hoyl****!
*T0J0 has been eliminated.*
*The Allied team has won the game!*
Eisenhower: awesome!
Churchill: gg noobs no re
T0J0: thats bull**** u fockin suck
*T0J0 has left the game.*
*Eisenhower has left the game.*
Stalin: next game im not going to be on ur team, u guys didnt help me for ****
Churchill: wutever, we didnt need ur help neway dumbarss
tru_m4n: l8r all
benny~tow: bye
Churchill: l8r
Stalin: fock u all
tru_m4n: shut up commie lol
*tru_m4n has left the game.*
benny~tow: lololol u commie
Churchill: ROFL
Churchill: bye commie
*Churchill has left the game.*
*benny~tow has left the game.*
Stalin: i hate u all fags
*Stalin has left the game.*
paTTon: lol no1 is left
paTTon: weeeee i got a jeep
*paTTon has been eliminated.*
paTTon: o sh1t!
*paTTon has left the game.*

And I’ll eat my Jabba the Hutt cap.

Dschinghis Khan (1980)

And from Red Alert 3

James Hannigan – I’ve FOUND YOU OUT.

All your base are now belong to us.

 

About one year ago, I posted a questionnaire to my blog from an email: (https://ljofa.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/qaires-from-the-past) I’d put in the link properly but IE8 is a bitch) one year ago on 19/09/11 (that’s UK dates and not US dates).  I’ve updated it twelve months on; an interesting exercise in compare/contrast.    

 

                     

 

1. LIVING ARRANGEMENT?

 

Breathe in, breathe out; it’s an oldie but a classic.  12 years living in Stratford and I’d like nothing better than to get out of Newham but until the housing market conditions are a little more favourable (or I get promoted at work), I guess I’m here to stay.

 

 
2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?

 

I’ve been buying a glut of Star Trek books for my iPad, mostly those that I already own so that I can divest myself of the paperbacks.  As for non-Trek, whatever I pull off my shelves – frequently in the Alternative History genre and more essays than fiction. 

 

3. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?

 

I haven’t had a mouse pad for years; optical mice are the way forward and with touch screen computers…virtually obsolete.  Though they do make handy placemats in a pinch. 

 

4. FAVOURITE BOARD GAME?

 

I prefer word games that don’t necessarily have a board like Scattergories and Taboo.  That said, I do still enjoy games like Risk, Axis & Allies et al, especially the video game conversions. 

 

5. FAVOURITE MAGAZINES?

 

BBC Focus, BBC History, Retro Gamer and Privvet Eye [sic].

 


6. BABIES?

 

Zero.  

 

7. FAVOURITE SOUND?

 

The absence of sound is probably the best noise there is.  Silence is indeed golden, especially when you live in and exist in an urban environment
 
8. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD?

 

When life gets out of control, like a runaway mine cart and all you can do is sit back and endure the ride.

 


9. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE
UP IN THE MORNING?
Did my lottery numbers come up?  How much longer to the weekend?  Can I squeeze out a few more minutes of rest?

 

                                   
10. FAVOURITE COLOUR?

 

Prussian Blue or Forest Green. 

 

11. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE?

 

As many as it takes for voicemail to kick in; few people actually phone these days, there’s a heavy dependence on text messages and emails.  Those who do call me generally want to sell me products and services I don’t want.  I think my home phone has been unplugged five years now. 

 

12. FUTURE CHILD’S NAME.

 

Edward for a boy.  Something non-pretentious for a girl though given my family’s genes, a boy is a dead cert for first child.

 


13. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?

 

Celebrating successes, no matter how small and insignificant.  Preferably with as many people as possible.
 
14. FAVOURITE FOODS?

 

Vegetarian Mexican – the complete range.  And a good cheese, none of that cheddar muck unless it’s über strong and sweating like a glassblowers arse.

 


15. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?

 

Vanilla. Every time.  That’s Ice-cream flavours, coffee additives and sexual preferences. 

 

16. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST?

 

Speed is overrated except when you’re walking.  Prefer to take in the sights and see what’s happening around me which you can’t do when the landscape is a blur. 

 

17. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL?

 

Nope though there are 33 year old stuffed toys under my divan.  I do cocoon in the duvet however. 

 

18. STORMS – COOL OR SCARY?

 

Irritating, London Underground scheduling tends to collapse in anything more than a shower. 

 

19. POLITICIANS – PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE OR WASTE OF SPACE?

 

One wonders how people so stupid can rise to positions of such importance.  This token democracy we exist under is government of the inept irrespective of who is in charge.  I’m with Lex Luthor in Superman: Red Son on this one.

 


20. IF YOU COULD MEET ONE PERSON DEAD OR ALIVE WHO WOULD IT BE?

 

Before I’d have said Hattie Jacques or Peter Cushing.  Assuming I could get a translator, I think I wouldn’t mind tea with Augustus Caesar.

 

                                                                           
21. FAVOURITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK.

 

Whatever qualifies under Happy Hour.  But those ginger flavoured drinks are lovely. 

 

22. WHAT IS YOUR ZODIAC SIGN?

 

Old Fishy.  Unless you mean Chinese Zodiac which is a sheep/goat. Baaaa. 

 

23. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI?

 

Hell yes – they’re featuring more and more in my stir-frys.

 

                                              
24. IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE JOB IN THE WORLD WHAT WOULD IT BE?

 

Professional blogger, so long as I can receive a steady stream of subjects to rant about.

 

 

 

25. IF YOU DYED YOUR HAIR, WHAT COLOUR WOULD YOU PICK?

 

My hair has been Grade Zero for at least eight years and its several colours thanks to my mongrel genes?
 
26. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE?

 

Yes.

 


27. IS THE GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL?

 

Despite a strong preference for a binary universe, I hate and despise this question.  Just give the damn thing a refill or drain it and have done.

 

                     
28. FAVOURITE MOVIES?

 

It’s a difficult question to answer, surprisingly enough.  There’s little coming out of Hollywood that’s of interest lately, especially with the current crop of “stars” who are as welcome as a bad case of haemorrhoids.  I’m happy with anything in my collection really, that’s a good range of film.

 


29. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS?

 

Yup, have been able to touch type for at least a decade. 

 

30. WHAT’S UNDER YOUR BED?

 

The divan has four drawers, drawer one is hair clippers, drawer two is imported Star Wars figures, photo albums and other related tat, drawer three is stuffed toys and stuff that should really be thrown out, drawer four are important documents collated in one place, an Atari 8-in-1 game console and a box full of Freedoms.


31. PREFERRED METHOD OF TRANSPORT?

 

Shanks Mare, really.  I prefer to move under my own power.  

 

32. FAVOURITE SPORT TO WATCH?

 

Would rather play than watch given the choice.  But like before, I can watch ten-pin bowling between turns with a nice fruit cider in my hand.

Chilleh

Not one, not two but *three* blog posts for you lucky people today – I’m on fire.  I wanted to share (not least as a mate who reads the blog asked) my recipe for my vegetarian chilli con carne.  This isn’t a definitive recipe as it alters every single time I make it but it’s a good one to use.  This’ll make four portions of chilli.

  • One packet Quorn Mince or Supermarket Equivalent
  • One packet Baby Corn (Fresh, not tinned)
  • One tin chopped tomato (branded)
  • One tube tomato puree
  • One tube garlic puree
  • One large Spanish Onion or two Red Onions (depending on what strength you like your onion)
  • One jar red jalapeno peppers
  • One small tub green olives
  • Chilli Powder or Tabasco Sauce
  • HP Sauce
  • 300g Sticky Rice
  • Tortilla Chips (flavoured)
  • Greek Yoghurt or Tzaziki

Start with adding your sticky rice to cold water in a ratio of 1:2 and boil on a low heat – we’re absorbing today.  

Finely dice your onion,  chop up the olives and baby corn, then fry in a large saucepan with the garlic puree using  olive oil.   

Add your Quorn mince handful by handful to the mixture stirring in and getting the fake meat all coated in the mixture – crucial to stop it sticking together.   

Next pour in your chopped tomato – you want the branded stuff as has less water and once your mixture is blended in, add a good blast from the tomato puree tube depending on how liquid your want your meal.  Sprinkle in the chilli powder or pour in the Tabasco sauce and add your jalapeno peppers, stirring all the while. 

Now, turn up the temperature to full on the chilli and leave for thirty seconds to a minute – you want the bottom of the mix to burn slightly so that the flavours are enhanced just enough to taste but not enough to char.  Then blend the mixture together again.  By this time, your rice should be almost ready – the water should have almost boiled away and there should be craters formed in the surface. 

Prepare your tortilla chips (BBQ, cheese, chilli – whatever but not plain) and then remove the rice from the heat.  Keep cooking the chilli though and spoon out into individual bowls.  Now remove the chilli and do the same.  Top off with the Greek Yoghurt or Tzaziki and serve with the Tortilla Chips. 

Leave the washing up to someone else – you’ve spent ages cooking and deserve the break.  Have a cold bottle of Crabbies instead or some Desperadoes.

FIN

 

This recipe as subject to change but is best with Quorn Mince.  Feel free to add and remove vegetables at random but the best ones not currently on the list are diced bell peppers, chopped courgettes, sliced carrots, finely chopped mushrooms, baby broccoli tips or even quartered baby tomatoes.  No big chunks – they have to fit onto a tortilla chip and those suckers break easily.

Shylock Speaks

 

So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing
I bear Antonio, that I follow thus
A losing suit against him. Are you answered?

 

You will answer ‘The slaves are ours.’ So do I answer you.
The pound of flesh which I demand of him
Is dearly bought. ‘Tis mine, and I will have it.

Merchant of Venice

 

Back in the golden age of the office email, you used to get sent junk like what I’m about to post below. I saved my favourites into Word files and felt the sudden urge to share this one today because…well, just ‘cos.

The Top 100 Things I’d Do If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord

1. My Legions of Terror will have helmets with clear plexiglass visors, not face-concealing ones.

2. My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

3. My noble half-brother whose throne I usurped will be killed, not kept anonymously imprisoned in a forgotten cell of my dungeon.

4. Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

5. The artefact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

6. I will not gloat over my enemies’ predicament before killing them.

7. When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll say, “No.” and shoot him. No, on second thought I’ll shoot him then say “No.”

8. After I kidnap the beautiful princess, we will be married immediately in a quiet civil ceremony, not a lavish spectacle in three weeks’ time during which the final phase of my plan will be carried out.

9. I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled “Danger: Do Not Push”. The big red button marked “Do Not Push” will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.

10. I will not interrogate my enemies in the inner sanctum — a small hotel well outside my borders will work just as well.

11. I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

13. All slain enemies will be cremated, or at least have several rounds of ammunition emptied into them, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff. The announcement of their deaths, as well as any accompanying celebration, will be deferred until after the aforementioned disposal.

14. The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other form of last request.

15. I will never employ any device with a digital countdown. If I find that such a device is absolutely unavoidable, I will set it to activate when the counter reaches 117 and the hero is just putting his plan into operation.

16. I will never utter the sentence “But before I kill you, there’s just one thing I want to know.”

17. When I employ people as advisors, I will occasionally listen to their advice.

18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time.

19. I will not have a daughter. She would be as beautiful as she was evil, but one look at the hero’s rugged countenance and she’d betray her own father.

20. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it’s too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

21. I will hire a talented fashion designer to create original uniforms for my Legions of Terror, as opposed to some cheap knock-offs that make them look like Nazi stormtroopers, Roman footsoldiers, or savage Mongol hordes. All were eventually defeated and I want my troops to have a more positive mind-set.

22. No matter how tempted I am with the prospect of unlimited power, I will not consume any energy field bigger than my head.

23. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way — even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless — my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.

24. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line “No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!” (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)

25. No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.

26. No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate to kill me. Therefore, I will think twice before ordering a prisoner sent to my bedchamber.

27. I will never build only one of anything important. All important systems will have redundant control panels and power supplies. For the same reason I will always carry at least two fully loaded weapons at all times.

28. My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.

29. I will dress in bright and cheery colours, and so throw my enemies into confusion.

30. All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death. My foes will surely give up and abandon their quest if they have no source of comic relief.

31. All naive, busty tavern wenches in my realm will be replaced with surly, world-weary waitresses who will provide no unexpected reinforcement and/or romantic subplot for the hero or his sidekick.

32. I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.

33. I won’t require high-ranking female members of my organization to wear a stainless-steel bustier. Morale is better with a more casual dress-code. Similarly, outfits made entirely from black leather will be reserved for formal occasions.

34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.

35. I will not grow a goatee. In the old days they made you look diabolic. Now they just make you look like a disaffected member of Generation X.

36. I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.

37. If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he’s my trusted lieutenant.

38. If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harbouring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.

39. If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.

40. I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable superweapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

41. Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.

42. When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.
43. I will maintain a healthy amount of scepticism when I capture the beautiful rebel and she claims she is attracted to my power and good looks and will gladly betray her companions if I just let her in on my plans.

44. I will only employ bounty hunters who work for money. Those who work for the pleasure of the hunt tend to do dumb things like even the odds to give the other guy a sporting chance.

45. I will make sure I have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what in my organization. For example, if my general screws up I will not draw my weapon, point it at him, say “And here is the price for failure,” then suddenly turn and kill some random underling.

46. If an advisor says to me “My liege, he is but one man. What can one man possibly do?” I will reply “This.” and kill the advisor.

47. If I learn that a callow youth has begun a quest to destroy me, I will slay him while he is still a callow youth instead of waiting for him to mature.

48. I will treat any beast which I control through magic or technology with respect and kindness. Thus if the control is ever broken, it will not immediately come after me for revenge.

49. If I learn the whereabouts of the one artefact which can destroy me, I will not send all my troops out to seize it. Instead I will send them out to seize something else and quietly put a Want-Ad in the local paper.

50. My main computers will have their own special operating system that will be completely incompatible with standard IBM and Macintosh PowerBooks.

51. If one of my dungeon guards begins expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful princess’ cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented position.

52. I will hire a team of board-certified architects and surveyors to examine my castle and inform me of any secret passages and abandoned tunnels that I might not know about.

53. If the beautiful princess that I capture says “I’ll never marry you! Never, do you hear me, NEVER!!!” I will say “Oh well” and kill her.

54. I will not strike a bargain with a demonic being then attempt to double-cross it simply because I feel like being contrary.

55. The deformed mutants and odd-ball psychotics will have their place in my Legions of Terror. However before I send them out on important covert missions that require tact and subtlety, I will first see if there is anyone else equally qualified who would attract less attention.

56. My Legions of Terror will be trained in basic marksmanship. Any who cannot learn to hit a man-sized target at 10 meters will be used for target practice.

57. Before employing any captured artefacts or machinery, I will carefully read the owner’s manual.

58. If it becomes necessary to escape, I will never stop to pose dramatically and toss off a one-liner.

59. I will never build a sentient computer smarter than I am.

60. My five-year-old child advisor will also be asked to decipher any code I am thinking of using. If he breaks the code in less than 30 seconds, it will not be used. Note: this also applies to passwords.

61. If my advisors ask “Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?” I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.

62. I will design fortress hallways with no alcoves or protruding structural supports which intruders could use for cover in a fire fight.

63. Bulk trash will be disposed of in incinerators, not compactors. And they will be kept hot, with none of that nonsense about flames going through accessible tunnels at predictable intervals.

64. I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be a disadvantage.

65. If I must have computer systems with publicly available terminals, the maps they display of my complex will have a room clearly marked as the Main Control Room. That room will be the Execution Chamber. The actual main control room will be marked as Sewage Overflow Containment.

66. My security keypad will actually be a fingerprint scanner. Anyone who watches someone press a sequence of buttons or dusts the pad for fingerprints then subsequently tries to enter by repeating that sequence will trigger the alarm system.

67. No matter how many shorts we have in the system, my guards will be instructed to treat every surveillance camera malfunction as a full-scale emergency.

68. I will spare someone who saved my life sometime in the past. This is only reasonable as it encourages others to do so. However, the offer is good one time only. If they want me to spare them again, they’d better save my life again.

69. All midwives will be banned from the realm. All babies will be delivered at state-approved hospitals. Orphans will be placed in foster-homes, not abandoned in the woods to be raised by creatures of the wild.

70. When my guards split up to search for intruders, they will always travel in groups of at least two. They will be trained so that if one of them disappears mysteriously while on patrol, the other will immediately initiate an alert and call for backup, instead of quizzically peering around a corner.

71. If I decide to test a lieutenant’s loyalty and see if he/she should be made a trusted lieutenant, I will have a crack squad of marksmen standing by in case the answer is no.

72. If all the heroes are standing together around a strange device and begin to taunt me, I will pull out a conventional weapon instead of using my unstoppable superweapon on them.

73. I will not agree to let the heroes go free if they win a rigged contest, even though my advisors assure me it is impossible for them to win.

74. When I create a multimedia presentation of my plan designed so that my five-year-old advisor can easily understand the details, I will not label the disk “Project Overlord” and leave it lying on top of my desk.

75. I will instruct my Legions of Terror to attack the hero en masse, instead of standing around waiting while members break off and attack one or two at a time.

76. If the hero runs up to my roof, I will not run up after him and struggle with him in an attempt to push him over the edge. I will also not engage him at the edge of a cliff. (In the middle of a rope-bridge over a river of molten lava is not even worth considering.)

77. If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutenant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer.

78. I will not tell my Legions of Terror “And he must be taken alive!” The command will be “And try to take him alive if it is reasonably practical.”

79. If my doomsday device happens to come with a reverse switch, as soon as it has been employed it will be melted down and made into limited-edition commemorative coins.

80. If my weakest troops fail to eliminate a hero, I will send out my best troops instead of wasting time with progressively stronger ones as he gets closer and closer to my fortress.

81. If I am fighting with the hero atop a moving platform, have disarmed him, and am about to finish him off and he glances behind me and drops flat, I too will drop flat instead of quizzically turning around to find out what he saw.

82. I will not shoot at any of my enemies if they are standing in front of the crucial support beam to a heavy, dangerous, unbalanced structure.

83. If I’m eating dinner with the hero, put poison in his goblet, then have to leave the table for any reason, I will order new drinks for both of us instead of trying to decide whether or not to switch with him.

84. I will not have captives of one sex guarded by members of the opposite sex.

85. I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. “Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse.” Instead it will be more along the lines of “Push the button.”

86. I will make sure that my doomsday device is up to code and properly grounded.

87. My vats of hazardous chemicals will be covered when not in use. Also, I will not construct walkways above them.

88. If a group of henchmen fail miserably at a task, I will not berate them for incompetence then send the same group out to try the task again.

89. After I capture the hero’s superweapon, I will not immediately disband my legions and relax my guard because I believe whoever holds the weapon is unstoppable. After all, the hero held the weapon and I took it from him.

90. I will not design my Main Control Room so that every workstation is facing away from the door.

91. I will not ignore the messenger that stumbles in exhausted and obviously agitated until my personal grooming or current entertainment is finished. It might actually be important.

92. If I ever talk to the hero on the phone, I will not taunt him. Instead I will say this: his dogged perseverance has given me new insight on the futility of my evil ways and that if he leaves me alone for a few months of quiet contemplation I will likely return to the path of righteousness. (Heroes are incredibly gullible in this regard.)

93. If I decide to hold a double execution of the hero and an underling who failed or betrayed me, I will see to it that the hero is scheduled to go first.

94. When arresting prisoners, my guards will not allow them to stop and grab a useless trinket of purely sentimental value.

95. My dungeon will have its own qualified medical staff complete with bodyguards. That way if a prisoner becomes sick and his cellmate tells the guard it’s an emergency, the guard will fetch a trauma team instead of opening up the cell for a look.

96. My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa.

97. My dungeon cells will not be furnished with objects that contain reflective surfaces or anything that can be unravelled.

98. If an attractive young couple enters my realm, I will carefully monitor their activities. If I find they are happy and affectionate, I will ignore them. However if circumstance have forced them together against their will and they spend all their time bickering and criticizing each other except during the intermittent occasions when they are saving each others’ lives at which point there are hints of sexual tension, I will immediately order their execution.

99. Any data file of crucial importance will be padded to 1.45Mb in size.

100. Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.

In the interim

I’ve got a post on another computer but forgot to transfer/post it online so that’ll have to wait until tomorrow. So in the interim, enjoy this old story from 2001 (or earlier) entitled “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”

You may have heard of/read the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”? Well, here’s a prime example offered by an English professor at an American University.

In-class Assignment for Wednesday: “Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking and anything you wish to say must be written on the paper. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.”

The following was actually turned in by two English students: Rebecca and Gary – last names deleted.

————————————————————–
STORY: (first paragraph by Rebecca) At first, Laurie couldn’t decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favourite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.
———————————————————
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago.
“A.S. Harris to Geostation 17,” he said into his transgalactic communicator. “Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far…” But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship’s cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
———————————————————
He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychologically brutalising the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. “Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel,” Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth – when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. “Why must one lose one’s innocence to become a woman?” she pondered wistfully.
——————————————————–
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu’udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through congress had left Earth a defenceless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu’udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverise the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporised poor, stupid, Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. “We can’t allow this! I’m going to veto that treaty! Let’s blow ’em out of the sky!”
——————————————————–
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.
——————————————————–
Yeah? Well, you’re a self-centred tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. “Oh shall I have camomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F**ING TEA??? Oh no I’m such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Mills & Boon novels.”
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Asshole.
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Bitch.
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Wanker.
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Slut.
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Get f**ked.
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Eat shit.
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F**K YOU – YOU NEANDERTHAL!!!
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Go drink some tea – whore.

Inebriated Musing #1

Drunk? Yes.

But isn’t that how many of the Western Worlds sociological advancements came about? Certainly was nae through sobriety.

Are we at our most creative through intoxication or through the state of what most would call normality?

Pass.

Though answers on the back of a postcard to…